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  CSPAN    Book TV    Education. Non-fiction  
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    December 7, 2013
    12:00 - 1:31pm EST  

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against children and i would have liked to have seen this be different. >> host: we have another call from ed in sacramento. >> caller: hello. first of all, belated happy thanksgiving. >> guest: thank you. >> caller: i would also like to thank booktv. my vote is that the show should be once a week and not once a month. my question has to do with parenting and i' >> i have experience studding -- studying species and i don't know what extent the stereotype exist, but i was wondering if you recommend or refer us to read other sources to have parents help promote and support
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both expressive and asserti assertiveness for boys and girls. >> i don't disagree with that. i think you ask t-- you should try to develop your child in all of the lessons and try to develop the creative side as well as the side of your child that is interested in building and construction. i would love to see that, but i am saying the child is going to go his or her own way. you can give a little girl a fire engine or a daughter gave the daughter a toy train and he came downstairs and she was playing with the train and said
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daddy, i am putting it to sleep. you try as best as you can to get your child to develop in another direction, it doesn't always work. the child comes with a nature and knows who he or she is and there is only so much you can do. if children are too wild we have to calm their natchurnature. we want boys to become gentlemen and we have to influence them. but that doesn't mean turning them to girls. that will not happen. they will find ways to avoid it. it is futile to attempt that. >> our western feminist too accepting of islamic countries
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and the plight of their women? >> you have some women's organization who have made common cause in the developing world and muslim nations. i am disappointed because i think that should be the focus of the women's movement in the 21st centry. we have had our feminist revolution. we won. it was successful and you are self-defining in the society. but there are other societies where they have not had a ripple of femnisniinifeminism. i meet women trying to get women
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to vote and protection against violence. and for iranian woman, what a struggle. that is the natural alliance modern women should make. it is the fight of the centry i think. i think the 21st century is liberating women across the developing world where they have not had their basic liberation. i don't think we should go there and impose our version of fem i femini feminism but there are liberation movements asking for our help. you find alliances in the 1980s
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who were opposed to the par tide in africa. where is the movement on the american campus to bring down gender par tides? it isn't there. a young woman on an american campus is more likely to learn how she is a risk and held back. which is wrongful. if you have compassion and good information, that is moral progress. but if you have bad information, and propaganda about the american patriotic, that is wrong. >> will we see a men's movement?
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>> i hope to see a humanist movement. this isn't a man versus a woman. we are together in this. we cannot separate. it is artificial. another thing that is wrong is it a mars versus venus. i think we should form a movement where we are concerned for one another and all florish. >> we have been talking with hoff sommers. she has written several books
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and has an a new book out that was reissued. she wrote that with a colleague. she is the author of textbooks as well. including "vice and virtue" and a booklet as well. thanks for being with us on booktv. >> thank you very much. >> there was a transfer point by rail, steamboat and then rail
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again. the town's population was 500 in 1900 by 1910 it was almost 8,000. >> we are going to the lake city in the northern panhandle of idaho. >> the biggest legacy is all of the career she started and the people all over the state who got their start from her. people knew if they were in politics they wanted to be friends with her. >> we will explore with area with local authors. >> it is located on perhaps of the most pufl beautiful lakes in the country. it is on the northern shore where the spokane river runs out
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of it. most people say coeur d'alene and we think it was used in the fur trade by french speaking people. as the tribe that lived around the lake and we say this person is as sharp as the tack. and the there were no tacks. but the sharp tool was this aul. and they started calling the indians, and they would go up to trade and it would take days.
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and they referred to them as people with hearts as sharp as the point of an aul. they began to call themselves the coeur d'alenes. and it on an early map soon. the lake they live around became known as lake coeur d'alene. when the first military fort was here it was named coeur d'alene and the little town around the fort was coeur d'alene city. and the mountains surrounding us was the coeur d'alene mountains. so by the 1870-1880 people say i am going to the coeur d'alene
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and they meant the regions. going back to the battle of little big horn that was lost by george custer and his command. when that happened this was embarrassment to the united states government, embarrassment for the president, embarrassment for the military. and general sherman was sent out to look over building forts. and he looked at the lake, rivering going out, and thought it was the perfect spot. when a fort is commissioned, some people know there is a good place to make money. a saloon, a brothel and you have 300 soldiers in one spot so there are a number of things. so the town started in tents and
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log cabins. the year fort sherman was created was in 1878. it is interesting because the idea that took shape brought serious indian conflict in the region. it didn't have a name to start with. it is as a collection of tents and cabins as i said before. it was called fort coeur d'alene pretty cosoon. and once more people moved into the area as a result of the fort being under construction, cold is discovered up in the coeur d'alene mountains. and then thousands of people
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came in so we had hotels, hardware store, general store and you have a town. coeur d'alene was a transfer point by rail, steamboat and then rail again into the mining district. so when you have people coming in to get to the mining district they need things. and that is the origin of the economy. what really changed, major change, was when the fort was finally closed in 1898 and when they discovered a different route into the mining district and people didn't have to go on steamboats anymore. this town was about to go under. and no body knew this, but while all of this was going on, there are federal surveys going on in the entire pacific northwest
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determining what is the timber in this region and that is the white pine. mil a report was made from the survey in 1898 the year the fort was closed, that report was made public. and all of the major timber companies came to this area. so that is really what produced -- when you walk through the town today, that is a town that was produced. the town's population was 500 in 1900 by 1910 there were 18,000. it is a modern, progressive city
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today. tourism is a big part of the economy. the timber industry is still volleybal valuable. mining has had problems. we wanted diversity as the main focus. because in the past it was mining and logging. so we are diverse in almost everything way you can think of. to me i don't think you can understand the present unless you know something about the past. if you understand the present and how it got here, you are capable of making sources about what is going to happen in the future. >> next from booktv's visit to coeur d'alene. we bring you the history for the for dummy's series. he talk said about the problems with the first book and the success of the series
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>> at the time there were novelty computer books and a bunch of stupid tricks. we figured this is going to be another novelty book. well it sold, and sold really well. i had an idea to do a beginning book about computer, dos specifically. and i find of inspired myself to do that dealing with editing and being on the radio and talking about computers it was obvious people wanted to learn more but the material wasn't doing the job. we had beginner books but they sucked. the author was arrogant and was like you will never get this stuff. or like look at this, it is cool and people wanted to use the
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computer. so moving from the error where they were hobbies to where they were going to the office. people going from type writers to computers and doing things on the ledger to doing them on a computer. the books were missing the mark. so i had an idea based on the idiot's guide to volkswagon maintenance and i had an idea to do the book. and i had a literary agent and wrote up a proposal and said shop it around and he shopped it around and none of them were interested. it was a catch-22. they set themselves up for it.
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they wrote lousy books that didn't sell. their argument was that audience isn't there. and i was like you are not trying to get the audience because the books are unsuccessful. but they wouldn't listen. it was like the bland food restaurant. people don't like salt in there food. if is a like you have not tried it. and it is like they will not like it. we are getting people in. i put it on the shelf and continued to write books. i was at a conference and dressing the idea of having books being more personal. and then the audience, mack mccart mccarthy was there, and he said
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let's have lunch. he had an idea for a book and it is called dos for dummies and i said i have the outline for that and mine is the idiot book for dos. and i fed-ex to book. he said this is awesome. and what i am looking for. i wrote a how to and they said they don't want to learn this stuff. let's make a reference so they can look up the one thing they want to find the answer to and get on to the rest of their lives. and three weeks later i written the book. idg was going to publix --
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publish -- one book. and 5,000 came off the press. at the time not all of the book stores wanted to have it. walden book didn't want it. this was before the internet or book stores that people went into. they came in and it was gone in a week it was sold out. people wanted it. they saw it and said that is for me. i am a dummy and i want the book. so they printed another 5,000 and so on because the book stores wanted the book. and walden books was tired of sending people across the mall and said we will take that book, too. so it built on that.
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it was word of mouth. after dos for dummies became successful they were eager to get more out. they realized we have a formula that is eager for a lot of information. they sat down with me and offered me whatever i wanted. i think i signed six contracts. and they found other writers to write things on photoshop and home finance. everything told because people were eager to have the information presented in a format that was easy to read. had a little humor in there. personality and a lot of stuff. people were ready and hungry for it. >> this is a chronological order. and the early ones were
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technical. and then you have dos for dummies. and you can see if you look chronlogically there is other po books and it parallels the series because it started ramping up, and then at one end you see colors and then at the other end it is yellow. and that is because of the economy and going away from physical book stores the brand survived and a lot of the other stuff didn't. they have niche markets. but there are only 3-4 publishers that publish computer books when in the 1980s you had 16 publishers.
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this is the knock-off collection. you had dos for non-nerds. i hate dos. and there were a couple others. but one of the reasons i got these because i see a lot of writing. you can call it plagiarism, but when was the last time you saw a case in court with that? i would go through and flag what i wrote. and the worst one this and i remember saying should i get paid for the pis this book? they were so eager to capitalize on the success of the dummy series they tried to figure out how does it work. i remember an editor told me she
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counted the number of paragraphs between jokes. and i said i had no formula for that. it is better than it has been. there was a mad rush to do as many as possible. so it was the corporate mentality of let's print money instead of what is the mission. is the mission to provide information to people? or is the mission to make as much money as possible? i think the better is to provide the information and back then, say, 10-15 years ago, their mission was let's saturate the market and do as many books as we can. and i think that hurt them in the long rung. like it hurt everyone. there is a quality equation here. and as an author, i tried to do this, and the windows for
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dummies and apple for dummies said keep the good authors and do the books. there was this dot com thing going on and the company made a terrible mistake and became a publ publicly traded company. and that screwed it up. the corporate mentality was let's make the quarterly number and folded the company. and wily which is a text book publisher and a more traditional publisher went ahead and bought it and this was 13 years ago. when they took it over, i think they understood the value of bringing the quality back into it. but these days, i'm surprised at the quality of these books. i think the series has been
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successful because the publisher understand what was special. it isn't about humor and here is a bunch of books with a bunch of jokes in them. if you look at technical books these days, they are all that way. it is not boring and dry. even the propeller headed books i read that are nerdy books on things 200 people will understand, there is still the personality. so entire industry is apriegsating -- appreciating -- the value of the humor in the dull subjects. >> coeur d'alene is also known
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as lake city. we sat down with a local author's book "lioness of idaho. " >> in a world where there is meanness in politics and power and advertisements. she worked behind the scenes and never forgot a human being. she is incredible. the minutes of the united states senate say she was noted for possible knowing everyone in idaho. she remembered people, not just names. she said wise things like don't
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worry what people are thinking about you. or she would say we would all have a better perspective on live if we knew the number of people at our funeral will depend on the weather. or every politician should know that one day he or she will be replaced. her parents have a homestead on on lake coeur d'alene and they built their dairy farm about five miles north of year and that is where she was born with four older brothers and two younger brothers. she was asked to be a reporter for coeur d'alene press straight at of high school and took some of the births and deaths at first. and then she went on and did almost everything for the press. she went from there to become an
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administrative assistant for v governor. and governor robins saw her strengths and begged and pleaded and it took a long time to convince her and she became the first women for administrative for governor, possible in the nation, this was in the 1940s. he worked for governor robins and then governor jordan. and then ran for congress. she didn't win in north idaho because it was all strong democrats. she later called it a temporary
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fit of insanity. she was about 40. after she lost she was asked to be a secretary of commerce. never had a course in business or economics. she did everything by the simplest strategy. she started off asking fifth grader in idaho to write to other fifth graders. she understand people with kids were the most likely travellers. she went on to other strategies.
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she promoted horse back riding and other things to get people to come and stay. idaho by the time she finished, idaho was growing that surpassed even hawaii. we reached a median income. and newspapers all over the state were running her picture and showing the marvelous louis. this was at the end of the '60s. she went to work for congressman hanson from there. and then came back and retired. sort of retired. to live on lake coeur d'alene and became more powerful then
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because of her contacts with people in high places. someone said the way to be successful is to make others be successful. and that is what she did. she used her connections to give people jobs. two different governors told me how she encouraged and helped and nurtured them. people knew if they were in politics they wanted to be friends with her. she was interested in civil rights as well. we had a problem with a white supremicist group and she helped a group lobby to get an vote tht
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brought an end to the white supreme group. she was encouraged to run for governor and had the name recognition and people behind her and an a lot of things politicians would want. but she chose not to. for several reasons and i talked about them in the book. but she wasn't one to say her own name. she preferred to work behind the scenes. she was one of the people that works in the senator, congress, and governor's office to get things done outside of the political fight. i came here to be the pastor of her church 20 years ago.
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i tell the most fun ster story of when she took the pastor out to get accounted she took me out for a burger and beer. she asked me what i wanted to know and who i wanted to know. i didn't know then who i was talking to because she never talked about herself. i found a story of a plane crash. she was at a meeting in sun valley and in charge of a lot of national people that were there in sun valley. she took some women for a drive up in the mountains and they saw a plane coming down and disappear into the forest. she slammed on the brakes and dove into the wood and when the young people that were with her
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caught up, she was inside tplan consoling the one survivor and then hours later she is back at the meeting. her family knew nothing about it. she didn't talk about herself. a politician that didn't talk about herself and was more interested in you and your family. what a model for young people. i am so excited about this because she is as a role model for women and men of how we can be successful in life by helping others. i she insisted no politicians were to speak at her funeral and it was to be limited time. she didn't want anybody to build their career on her funeral.
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she was a realistic person. and that wasn't a bitter thing. it was a realistic thing and she knew how things worked sheechlt wanted to be in her church with her pastor. and the weather was good. there were lots of people there. the biggest legacy is all of the career she started. all of the people all over the state who got their start from her. the way she did it was by being nice to people. it as a model that politics is about us the people and that we can be nice to each other. and we can be civil. we can be strong. she wasn't a moderate really. she was positioned toward the middle. but she was a fierce moderate if you want to think of that. she was very strong that it is right to listen to beth sides
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and be civil and care about what other people have to say. and that is a model we need today. >> booktv took a trip to kellog. we sat down with julie weston who recalls the history of the town. >> i remember playing in the park. i remember skiing in the mountains. i remember going to school which i loved. and i remember all of the people who were around. the minminers went by the house the morning and afternoonfelt we could he-- morning and afternoo.
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we could hear the mining whistles. but we were not involved with the mine. it was find of like a normal childhood. the history of the town began with the jackass. noah kellogg came here with his jackass and was exploring around hil hills. it kicked over a piece of ore supposedly and that started the rush. but you find the minerals underground and gold closer to the top which was one of the 1st rushes into the area. when they found the silver, that is when the town started in the 1880s. a mining town looks different from a midwest town.
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we would a smelter that was pumping out smoke and we had tall smoke stacks. and toward the end of the mine still going, they did a 750 feet high smoke stack to push them up higher. a smelter is where you take the ores and smelt them down and put them in vats of boiling chemicals and you would get silver, led and zinc -- lead -- led was the prominent one. the boom lasted a hundred years in the valley. from the 1880s-1980s. the mine was almost the sole employer. everybody depended on the mine.
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it affected everybody's live. the taxes supported the schools and library and paid for uniforms in the marching broadband. and employed students in thesumthe su summer and provided thousands of scholarships for the kids. the affect -- effect -- on the mine closing was devastating. there were labor strikes and i write about a big one. and all of the men voted to work three days a week so everybody could work, but when the mine closed down, no one would believe it. they tried to get people to come in and buy it. a company called gulf resources
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bought it. and they were getting the best out. and then the epa came in and said you cannot keep doing what you are doing. and in between the way the gulf resources and the epa managed them they closed it down and it was a super fund site. the epa tries to keep the air and water clean. this town didn't have clean air or water. so there were lots of poisons that were spread out on the ground. and this one company was mana managing the mine, there was a bag house fire and that is where many poisons were taking out of the processing before it wnt up into the air. they kept running the mine and smelter even though the house burned and that was in
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1972-1974. and the was lots of lead and arsenic and other chemicals spread out. and the epa says this has to be cleaned up, the river has to be cleaned up. and they just closed everything down. and the company who was managing said it was too expensive to comply with the regulations. it became a 21-square mile super fund site. fences around everything said if you come into the property you will be poisoned. the lakes had signs don't swim or eat the fish. it ended the town as a mining town. there were government monies spent, about $220 million, by the time i wrote by book in the
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1990s. and now it sup to about $440 million cleaning up the area. they dug out every yard and put in clean dirt. they moved the river back. they took out the field in the football stadium and put clean dirt in. and so basically the town is pretty clean now. many people in the town felt that was not appropriate. that we had lived here and nothing was wrong with any of us, with a few exceptions, and it was the end of an era. a lot of people stayed and waitred for -- waited for the mines to reopen -- but they didn't. there was mining going on in the valley, not the smelting. most of them just waited and
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waited for the mines to reopen. and they didn't. and finally many left. but many stayed and maybe they are involved with the ski industry and tourist industry, but the wages are much less than what the miners were paid. i wanted to write about ckellog because i grew up hereism i came back to interview people about the strike and find out more about it because i knew a lot about it since i helped work with the lawyer that formed the new union. the more i talked with people, the more i learned, and it seemed like i should preserve the stories of the people that lived here because the mining was gone and there was such a
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community. everybody really helped each other through the hard times and good times. and it seemed to me it ought to be remembered somehow. so i decided to put the book together. >> during booktv's visit to coeur d'alene we talk today a local author why herb's time in the city in 1844. >> they arrived in january of 1844 and came over from montana to get there. he heard about a gold rush and people were finding money and gold on the ground. and everybody was coming here from all over the country because of the railroad made a
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display in the papers all over the country about how wonderful the gold rush was and they were trying to build up the clients on the train. and it was the worst winter they had when he got here. 30 foot snow drift and horrible weather. and he had to walk from thompson falls over the mountain and they came into eagle city in january of 1844. he gained fame for the gun fight in the ok corral in tombstone arizona. it was a famous movement. when he got to the camps, people knew him and voted him to be the
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sheriff. in 1882 is when gold was found in the mountains. it wasn't much there then. just him then. when we went to spokane he let them knew about gold. they went back to find more, but couldn't find it. the indians were gone. and in coeur d'alene there was nothing there. they had fort coeur d'alene here and that is pretty much all there was. trees and tents. the gold rush started in the fall season of 1883. that is when people started coming over here. they were coming from everywhere. of course in the west there
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wasn't much here. but people coming in and filing claims on property with snow on the ground. the people before them filled the same claims but the snow covered their claim markers. so the other people came in and reclaimed and they took it to court finally and gave it to the person with the lowest claim markers in the snow. herb came here as a saloon owner. he owned saloons in south dakota and was a sheriff there as well. and he owned saloons in texas, too. and the thing that was his forte was being a businessman. he bought the white elephant saloon that was a huge saloon
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and other places and that is where he was serving up there. people came from the mines and had been in the mountains for weeks and finally found gold and wanted to spend it and have a good time. he owned a couple mines and that is what he got. he owned mines and had people working for him. i am not sure that he panned gold for himself. but he owned mines and they say he jumped them and they took him to court and he lost 1-2 case and it was the business end of it. he had a lot of people working for him. and his wife josie, i am sure she sang in the local saloons because that is what he --
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she -- was; a singer. i think he did well for himself. he must had had money with him when he left, but we went to texas with his girlfriend. whe i worked in the mines and heard the stories of him. when i was a kid i wrote stories and put them in local newspapers. i had a column in the local papers and that is what made me start writing about earp. people that built history shouldn't be forgotten. it is important to remember our history. because if you don't have history, what do you have?
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there is nothing. just a bunch of people. >> coeur d'alene idaho is named after the people. a native american trade that was known for their tough trading practicing. is on the list of 1,000 places before you die by patricia sh t shul shultz. he spoke to the author of the story of the jeswit mission mother who worked with the tribes >> he was a missionary who was the most prominent catholic missionary in the 19th century. he came to the pacific northwest in 1840. he was invited by native people.
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but being invited by the native people isn't the same thing as getting an assignment from the church. they had to way what the extension from st. louis was going to cost. he was an administrator. so when the father found the indians, in fact they found him. what happens was he was a missionary in council bluffs, o iowa. he sawa group of canoes and went down to greet them and heard them speaking to one another in french. french was his native language.
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how could they be speaking french? well they were iroquois indians and they are from the area of new france. they are from the st. louis river. what happened was when fur trade companies moved across the map of canada they leapfrogged across each other. in other words, the hudson bay company trapped out a concern area and the northwest company would leapfrog over them to areas that were not trapped out. and the paddlers were recruited from the schools in the saint lawrence valley. with they reached the pacific in canada they were released and
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went south and foupd a home among pacific northwest indians. so it was them that told there was a new world out there. there is a master of life out there. and there are men who can teach you about the master of life and a new set of ideas. so the iroquois were central to the bringing of christianity too the tribes of the northwest. and the iroquois said if you don't believe me, we will go to them and ask them to come to us. and so that is how those native people primarily the flat heads, put also we believe there were nes purse in that group.
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they were on the missouri river on the way to st. louis to knock on the door at st. louis university. and the father met them and foupd -- found -- out their goal and followed them and said i can take that assignment. i have experience and i am a full-fledged priest and ready to take the assignment. what each hoped to gain was complicated. they wanted to know more about the master of life they had heard from the iroquois indians. but the iroquois indians had
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oversold the idea. so the native people of the pacific northwest, the interior northwest, they had a higher expectation that there would not just be to learn the story of a master of life that they had not known before. but they came to extrapolate what the iroquois had told them into believing that perhaps they could now be great warriors because they would have a spiritual dimension that if not make them bullet-proof, and they didn't believe that, but it would make them superior
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warriors. so the truth of the matter is whu read the l-- when you -- red the letters after only a few years before they had been here even five years, they were writing that there was troublesome indications that the native people were taking their christian teachings and believing it had made them so superior in fact they were becoming troublesome to their neighbors. they were not negotiating the differences between hunting privileges between say the flat head and the crows. now they were taking an arbitrary 4th right position that they were superior and you
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had better not challenge us militarily for we have a secret weapon. now the reason i said that becomes very complicated is because the tribe just across the border in canada, the black feet, that tribe was military and that tribe received weapons from canadian fur trappers who didn't have the same concern about arming the native people of the pacific northwest. so the black feet became bullies in the pacific northwest. and the flat heads believed that they were now going to be able
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to go up against them. but i said it became a complicated stery because the fath father. they believed they should go to the black feet and say to them we need to have peace, piece is what the master -- peace -- of life wants us to be. we should meet, we should talk and make ourselves friendly instead of hostile. and to that end, the father, in
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1844-1845 went north across the 49th parallel into the black feet territory to talk to them. and you see what happens when the flat head find out that he went to the enemy they believe he is the moral equivalent of what we would call today an arm's manufacture who is arming both sides in the war. so the native people of the pacific northwest interior tribes they then had a falling out with them because they believed that the father and his c confer were telling the black
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feet the same ideas they were telling them. and they had suddenly lost their advantage. so it is clear that some of the missions will be closed because there is a lack of order by the native people. this knows to the idea that the father is a cultural broker. ...
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so when de smet left the pacific northwest in 1846, the pacific northwest was in perhaps, in all honesty, more turmoil than when he had come. that wasn't what he had intended there to be. father de smet was relieved of his position by the father wrote general of the society in rome. he was unhappy because he wanted to be out of the trail, in the indian camp, he wanted to be in
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a canoe on the back, exploring. so he was very unhappy, very discouraged to be back in st. louis. for the federal government, the united states federal government, a gigantic indian conference in fort laramie in present-day wyoming. they asked at the 11 who had such a touch with the native people. would he go and be of assistance? so his superiors in st. louis say you are not supposed to be leaving here, going back on the trail, but it would not be politic for us to turn down an
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invitation of this magnitude, so yes, father de smet 11 can go so that is how father de smet reinstated himself as an indian missionary. he went to this conference and from there he received invitations from other tribes will you come and visit us, he accepted those invitations and little by little he put himself back into the missionary mode and he continued to be in that missionary mode until he died in 1873. he did come back to the pacific northwest numerous times, and everytime he came, the indians remembered him, recognized him and he had an opportunity to do good for what he called his
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family. his legacy is that he is remembered by the tribes, they will never forget him. in fact, their headquarters church on the indian reservation is in idaho, as they do not easily forget this man. he is in their oral history, he is recognized by the jesuits of the pacific northwest as the great founder, at the very first of the superiors for the rocky mountain mission and that is the reason why his statue is outside on the campus right in front of college hall and guns that university campus.
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his legacy would include at guns at the university, the highest award we can give to anyone is the dismantled metal. and the northwest, we have a dormitory on campus, no question but that everybody will recognize the name de smet in the pacific northwest even when they don't know why they should know his name, they do in fact know his name and they know he is a pioneer, but they don't know as well as they should but nobody knows history as well as they should. they don't know as well as they should who he was, what he did as a broker of culture in the
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pacific northwest. >> for more information on booktv's recent revisit to coeur d'alene, idaho, go to c-span.org/localcontent. >> next on booktv joshua dubois, former executive director of the white house office of faith based and neighborhood partnership talks about the devotional e-mails he has been sending since barack obama since he was a senator. this is about half an hour. [applause] >> it is great to be here. change in plans, i wasn't able to update the book but cooking dishes for michele obama since this evening. american grow. we can get to that after the devotional. thank you for being here. so wonderful to see so many friends, old and new.
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like a family reunion. i am excited to share it this book with you. my wonderful wife, michele. [applause] >> we have been married precisely 82 days. you see this blow on my face, that is why. thank you so much for being here. when i started working for barack obama i had no idea i would be sending in a devotional every morning. i was a young kid from nashville, tenn. working on the 2008 campaign, in the senate office for couple years but didn't know him that well. i was doing out reach around a company like so many others including many folks that i see and privately i would pray for that young senator, that he would wake up every day and have a sense of purpose and the protected along the campaign trail, one of those moments of prayer, this nudge in my spirit, so many supports around him,
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policy advisers and political support, and wondered who was thinking about his soul, looking after that aspect of his life, decided to send him an e-mail to start his morning, that it would be a good idea, be well received, if i would get fired for sending it. i went to my friend reggie love and asked if he thought was a good idea. she wasn't sure. didn't think it was a good idea. progress, drafted him this short note one morning, the first was a reflection on the 20 third psalm and a poem called the faith of wild things and i sent it up, held to see what the response was going to be. waited a couple minutes, no reply. so i have to tell my mother i got fired for e-mail inga senator, another minute or 2 he
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wrote me back and said this is exactly what i needed this morning. would you mind sending this to me every day and six years later that is what i have been doing and that is how it got started, transitioned into the white house and led the fifth faith based initiative helping partner with faith based group to run the country along with many colleagues and friends in the room tonight but every morning we have this quiet tradition of communing together in a moment of connecting from politics and business of the day and focusing on principles that are e turtle. a year ago i talked to the president and asked what he thought of me putting this together with other people. were they as helpful as they are? maybe help others as well and he thought was a wonderful idea so after i transitioned out of the white house, grad school, 7 or eight years ago. so anyhow, i started putting them together and that is
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visible, "the president's devotional". in addition to 365 meditation includes 12 stories about faith in the white house, challenges along the way, lessons i learned, intersection of religion and politics, different side of our president and a lot of folks get to see. sometimes we see him as an avatar on our television screens, in the white house press briefing room or giving a speech. i have gotten to know him as the man who has vulnerabilities, is compassionate, has his own flaws but at the end of the day is a decent human being and been able to show a little bit of that side of him in the book in "the president's devotional". i would like to read a little bit of it for you. give you a taste of what some of the devotionals are about and open up too a couple questions and sign some books. one of the themes i often came back to in "the president's devotional" is really helping the president find a sense of joy and laughter and gladness in the midst of some difficult and deep and serious times.
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he is a pretty serious guy himself and i wanted to use the devotional to allow him to release a little bit and get to a place of joy. to dance beneath the diamond sky with one hand waving free silhouetted by the sea circled by the circumstances, with all memory and faith driven deep beneath the waves let me forget about today until tomorrow. that is bob dylan, mr. tambourine man. wearing a linen, david was dancing before the lord with all his might. second daniel six:14. egos and to reflection, david, the king, the ruler ofhe goes a david, the king, the ruler of the nation of israel.
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that david in wild abandon danced. he danced because the lord had been good. he danced because despite unspeakable trials he was still alive. he danced because it gave glory and honor to the guy who formed him in his mother's womb. she danced because the weight of singh had been lifted off of him. he danced and danced and danced some more with all he had with all his might. let's pray for david's joyful abandon today. see got the moments when the seriousness of life melt away in the heat of god's glory and we are free to let loose, shout, glorify god and dance. end with a prayer, let me never be too cereus to experience pure juoy and all you have done. i see a lot of dangers in this
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corner. all right. give me another sense of devotionals. this is one that i like because it refers to a guy who is pretty dear to me. on the topic of wisdom. when we don't have wisdom we need to be reminded not to rush into decisions until we have fought them through so this devotional focuses on that topic from march 1st, it is called slowly. starts with a verse of scripture. the heart of the righteous studies how to answer but the mouth of the wicked is evil. proverbs 15:28. talk low, talks low, don't say too much. that is john wayne. the message is as the child always wondered what my
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grandfather from nashville, tenn. spoke so slowly. it seemed by the time he answered my first question i had five more ready for him. for a free glibly impatient 8-year-old it was too much to bear. one day i asked him why do you talk so slow? it wasn't until i read proverbs 15:28 years later that is an to made sense. he said to me i speak slowly because i don't want my mouth to run laps around my brain. i would rather my brain finish first. he was saying the problem never went unsolved or disputes unresolved because of an answer delivered too slowly. let's study how to answer before we speak so that our replies will be godly and wisely it concludes with a year god, pays me. let me not move in front of your wisdom and let my language reflects steady and care.
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each month begins with an essay. there are a tough topics like disagreement in the white house and that is one of the devotionals that is in the book and there are poignant moments, sad moments, and that is in the book as well. when we travel up to visit billy graham in north carolina, described as well. there were also some later essays too and one of the things that is a particular favorite of mine because i loved it and my wife and our quasi wedding planner are here, the essay on marriage and how president obama and courage to me toward marriage, read a part of it to get sense of that estate including how the president harassed me a little bit as well.
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from september. september. in 2008 we were in the back of a black suv, of back to the saddle back civil forum in orange county, calif.. after quizzing me on the ten commandments and poking fun at larry love for not knowing them senator obama looks at me with a wry smile and said you really should get married. i am working on it, things are going pretty well with my girlfriend and he cut me up and said you should get married. time to settle down. the first of several inquisition this. there was a time we gathered in the oval office with a dozen faith leaders in a formal ceremony to launch the faith based advisor recounts will. when president obama interrupted the proceedings to ask are you engaged yet? the president introduced me as my faith based directed the great god but not dead yet himself. if we can only get him married.
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was the afternoon before a picnic on the white house lawn. we invited teenage boys from local schools and famous adult mentors. i was sitting in a full a called the diplomatic reception room whenoyer called the diplomatic reception room when president obama walked in. what is the hold up? why haven't you popped the question? surprise, i started with a range of excuses. i am saving money for a ring and a wedding and waiting for my job to slow down to spend more time together. the president interrupted again. do you love her? do you think she will be a great weight? yes i do. then you can't let that other stuff stop you. marriage is the best decision you can make. it sounds trite but it does complete a person, rounds you out. if you made up your mind you want you to be your wife and mother of your children that is all you need to know. you should think about popping the question. you need to get married. i knew then that marriage ran deep for president obama.
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i came to know it as a knowing force for his life. growing up with his grandparents and seeing their relationship first and the future president embraced their marriage as an island that stability and tumultuous shouting and when this globetrotting big thinking ambitious young man met michele robinson in chicago in 1989 his itinerant lay eggs grew roots and grew strong. at an end of wood they navigating the world and its challenges michele has a way of reminding him what is important. in photos and joint interviews that shed light on their private moments we see the president leaning on his wife physically and in spirit. he says a place for replenishment, and joy. she was giving a speech to a church gathering the data supreme court was going to rule on the affordable care act which we all know as obamacare. we were mid flight when the
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telephone rang on the plane. the air force is able to keep phone service even at 20,000 feet. with the caller calling to tell the first lady of the court had ruled in favor of the government and obamacare was upheld and who was ringing the first lady? the president on the line calling with words for his life. i realize that our conversation and wincing moments like that on the plane that when it came to marriage president obama wasn't just chiding me for sport. he wanted me to have what he has. something so hard to find in the world of politics, a love the doesn't fade based on circumstances. dan baker friday's. and he talks about how we got engaged. a little different side of the president than we often see. the last and say that i will read before we wrap up is probably about my most difficult day in the white house. my day pales in comparison to the difficult day other people had particularly in newtown, conn. on this day but again, it
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shows an important side of our president and our country as well. i want to read this as a from may, done in secret. the white house is not supposed to be a place for broken this but that is what we experienced on the weekend of december 14th, 2012. i was sitting at my desk midday on friday the fourteenth when i saw the images flashed on cnn. a school, a gunman, children fleeing and crying. it is and we have grown so accustomed to these types of seems that my first thought was i hope there are no deaths, just injuries. i thought was your run-of-the-mill scare. then the news from sandy hook elementary school, small school in newtown, connecticut began
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pouring in. the public details were horrific enough. 20 children murdered, six deaths, parents searching gymnasium for signs of their kids but the private fact we received were even worse and won't go into them. that news began a weekend of france and numbness which i woke from saturday to receive word the president would like me to accompany him to newtown. he wanted to meet with the families of the victims and offer some words of comfort to the country at an interfaith memorial service. i left early to help the advance team, hard-working folks who handle logistics to set things up and i arrived at the local high school where meetings and memorial service would take place. we prepared 7 or 8 classrooms for families of slain children, but two are three families in each classroom and place water and tissues and snacks in each one. we had no idea how to prepare
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but that was the best we could think of. we get a room by room. many struggled, the president will be here soon. a few of them were visibly angry, understandable it barely needs to be said. they were looking for someone, anyone to blame. mostly they sat in silence. i went downstairs to greet president obama and provided an overview of the situation, two families per classroom and that family's name and their child and the deceased child's name and the second is and i say that family and name and their child was and we tell them the rest as we went along. the president took a deep breath and steeled himself and went into the first classroom. what happened next i will never forget. person after person received an engulfing hug from our
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commander-in-chief. tell me about your son, tell me about your daughter and held up pictures as their parents describe a favorite food and television shows they like and the sound of their laughter. for the young person brings of those who passed away many of them 2 or 4 years old, young to understand what was happening the president would grab the man tossed them in the air laughing and hand them outbox of white house and n.m.s he kept in his pocket. i saw his eyes water but he did not break. the crazy thing was the entire scene would repeat itself over and over for what felt like ours, over 100 relatives of the fallen. each one equally broken and wrecked by the loss. after each classroom we would go back to those fluorescent always and walk through the names of the coming families and the president would dive back in like a soldier returning to a tour of duty in up worthy war.
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everyone received the same hud, the same look in the eye, the same sincere offer of support and prayer. the staff to the preparation work but the comfort and healing were all under president obama. i remember worrying about the toll it was taking on him. even the president's comfort was woefully inadequate in the face of this particular be unspeakable loss. it became some small measure of love on a weekend when evil range. the funny thing was president obama has never spoken about these meetings. he addressed the shooting in newtown and gun violence in a subsequent speech but didn't speak about private gatherings. he was nearly silent on air force one as we rode back to washington. he said little about his time with those families since. must have been one of the defining moments of his presidency, those quiet hours in solemn classrooms, extending as much feeling as was in his power
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to extend but he kept it to himself, never seeking to teach a lesson based on those mournful conversations or opening them up to public view. jesus teaches us that some things, the holiest things, the most painful and important and cherished things, we are to do in secret. not for public consumption or display but as acts of service to each other and worship to god. in scripture tells us your father sees what has done in secret will reward you, perhaps not now but certainly in eternity. i learned many lessons in newtown that day. that is what i kept close to the heart. [applause] >> that is a little taste of what is in the "the president's devotional". hopefully some inspiration to start your day and a little
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warm, a different side of the president than you normally get to see and sad moments as well but hopefully things we can learn from. in addition to signing a new light on the president and having a devotional in the morning is unclear but the testament to what happens when we shot down doubt and fear and insecurity in our brain and do a new thing. there is no great reason wet behind the ears kid should be a united states senator every morning. i wasn't qualified, wasn't pastor of a major congregation, didn't go to seminary, had an idea and wanted to do a new thing and stepped out there. the same is the case for a guy with a name like barack obama has the audacity to think he could be president of the united states but he didn't let those doubts and fears and naysayers get to him. that is the case for all of us when we have that little germ of us see of an idea we want to pursue but find every reason in the world not to do it. let's find the reason to do it
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and leap and the heavens will open. on that note, the final words i speak from the book are a little bit of that same lesson about stepping out and doing a new thing, the last devotional on january 11th. i will read this one to you. if you are open to it, close your eyes and take this one in. it is very short. passage of scripture from the reflection, the second samuel twenty-two:11. he mounted the chair and flew, he scored on the wings of the wind. in a poem. something started in my soul, fever, forgotten wings. i made my own way, deciphering that fire. i wrote the first faint line, faint, without substance, pure nonsense, pure wisdom of someone
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who knows nothing, and i suddenly saw the heavens unfasten and open. isn't that what faith is? walking right up to the edge of our present circumstance, closing our eyes, seeing bright red sparks of possibility dance beneath our limbs, seeing the warm embrace of a god who wants ever greater things for us, whispering a silent prayer and then the lead and the heavens will open. let me write the first line, make the first move, take a first step, speak the first word, let me love new become a radically, let me wheat and let the heavens and for some -- thank you, god bless you. want to take up local polk -- a couple questions, any questions
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at all. >> it is humbling for you to say you with the informal spiritual adviser to the most powerful man in the world when you were the shepherd for his spiritual advising. how was it with your humility you stepped in behind jeremiah right, african liberation geologist along with dr. gilmore and rev. desmond tutu. along--a young man like you moved in to their. if i am not wrong -- you moved